Cory Booker says Trumps stoking of fear would "make us less safe" with sanctuary cities idea

Booker: Trump is "injecting fear" into country

Watch more of Margaret Brennan's interview with Sen. Cory Booker this week on CBS News    

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker, of New Jersey, accused President Trump of trying to incite anger and divide Americans with his threat to release undocumented immigrants from the border into sanctuary cities. CBS News' "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan asked Booker whether the president's threat was an empty one -- whether he was, perhaps, creating friction in order to jumpstart a Congress that has not acted on immigration.

"You say 'friction' -- I say he's trying to pit Americans against each other and make us less safe," Booker told Brennan in an interview following his kick-off presidential campaign rally on Saturday in his hometown of Newark, a sanctuary city.

So-called "sanctuary cities" offer safe harbor for undocumented immigrants who might otherwise be deported by federal immigration authorities. The president complained Friday about the increasing numbers of migrants crossing, whom he referred to as "illegals," and said, "We'll bring them to sanctuary city areas and let that particular area take care of it, whether it's a state or whatever it might be."

He added, "California certainly is always saying, 'Oh, we want more people.' And they want more people in their sanctuary cities. Well, we'll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply. And let's see if they're so happy."

Asked whether he takes the president's threat seriously, Booker replied, "I take this. He is injecting fear into our country."

Booker also expressed doubt about the president's motives. "If he was looking to solve a problem, he wouldn't be doing things to divide this country against itself," he said. "Beware of anybody that's trying to tell you to be afraid in the strongest country in the world, as opposed to showing our strength and our courage by pulling people together to find common sense solutions to solve this problem."